Disappointment & Frustration
Having not met since January, the Hayling Island Infrastructure Advisory Committee was recalled for a meeting on November 7th to hear Havant Borough Council’s (HBC) revised Transport Assessment. Unfortunately, many of the profound concerns, originally expressed by the residents who sit on the Committee, remain. As residents regularly experience, it takes very little disruption, even away from peak travel times, to make any journey on the island very slow. This is particularly the case when that journey uses the A3023 to join or leave the island, reducing the speed of traffic to that of the slowest vehicle. Any vehicle stopping to make a delivery or discharge a passenger, stops the traffic in that direction; if there is a slow-moving vehicle or cyclist, the traffic moves at that speed, as safe overtaking is often not possible. Doubtless you can think of many other examples!
The Transport Assessment, undertaken by HBC and presented to the Advisory Committee, will form the basis of action to be taken to improve our transport network into the future, purportedly taking into account the proposed housing development on the Island. Unfortunately residents on the Committee are dismayed that the assessment is of poor quality. A few examples:
The modelling techniques used are questionable.
Census data used is from the last one in March 2011, making the data almost 9 years out of date during which time much has changed on the Island.
The influx of visitors in the summer – a key issue not only for the A3023 but particularly Hayling – has been ignored. The Council explanation for this is that national Transport Assessments do not include summer or peak times, but common sense argues that exceptions should be made for tourist/holiday destinations.
It shows no accurate measure of "windfall" housing that has already taken place. Residents remain unconvinced by the Council that such windfall cannot be factored into the impact of development on our infrastructure, particularly transport.
Where is account taken of Hayling’s major Services’ infrastructure failures’ damaging effects on our transport system: e.g. the water main burst at Stoke, the Electricity problem at Langstone and the sewage problem in the South of the Island to name just 3.
Further thoughts on the revised Transport Assessment’s proposals from Committee residents include:
- concerns about the safety of a right turn from Northney bringing them to a stop in the middle of the A3023;
- the fact that the A3023 will remain dangerous for cyclists. The Council reminded us that non-injury collisions data are not required by Hampshire County Council in assessing our roads’ safety. At best police officers provide first aid and must make roadside judgement calls;
- the proposed £4m ‘improvements’ will likely increase over time.
Space does not allow more detail; there is much more information on the Havant Borough Council website so I urge you to ensure you are aware of what is being planned for YOUR island. Let your Councillors know your views!
At Cycle Hayling’s November Meeting, Cllr. Quantrill was sure that extra Hampshire County Council funds plus another source of money was obtainable to finish surfacing the Denhill Close to Billy Trail cycle path – we look forward to seeing that completed. Cycle Hayling, whose members include walkers & wheelchair users, did a great job presenting their aspirations for the Billy Trail. Their members, like HIRA’s, continue to strive for the best Billy Trail surface, compromising between those desiring a more natural, rural surface and those needing a smooth, resilient finish. We all want a wide variety of Billy Trail users seeking fitness, well-being and safety off the A3023 on Hayling.